Does Fenugreek Really Work for Breast Milk Supply?

Updated on December 27, 2015
R.S. asks from Upper Sandusky, OH
14 answers

Hi everyone,
I am wondering if anyone has any experience with taking the herbal supplement fenugreek for helping with breast milk supply. Our daughter is tongue-tied (we have decided to have her frenulum clipped, but have not scheduled the appointment yet) and I am having problems producing enough for her. I am also going to start having oatmeal daily as I have read that helps also.
Anyways, just wondering if it is worth trying or not!
Thank you!

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So What Happened?

Wow thanks for the responses and suggestions! I ordered fenugreek and mothers milk tea this morning! Im excited to give it a try and hopeful that it'll work as well for me as it did for most of you! I'll try to remember to update this with my results in about a week or so :)

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answers from Columbus on

Yes it worked for me. I think it took me about a week to notice the difference but I was under a lot of stress at that time with the sudden passing of my mom. I did smell like maple syrup for a few weeks while my body adjusted, but it was well worth it. Plus we always said we were in the mood for pancakes when we woke up! :)

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from New York on

Fenugreek works, to varying degrees.

The most recommended dosage is 2 caps three times a day. However, really, the right dose is when you get a supply. For me, it took 7 caps three times a day to really get a good supply (but I am weird like that, I would not recommend unless under the supervision of a lactation consultant). According to Dr. Jack Newman, you keep going until you can smell the maple syrup-like smell in your secretions and skin. I did not get this until I took fenugreek see, it makes your sweat smell a little (but only to you, it is not an offensive odor). Most people say it is like maple syrup but to me it smelled like sweaty socks (slightly!). I think the best way to describe it is, whatever you smell once you open the container of fenugreek capsules, that is what you should be smelling on you once you have the right dose. I would just take a whiff of my underarm or my forearm to make sure my dose was right.

If it works well for you (and keep it mind it does not work for everybody) -- you should feel a healthy boost in supply in 1-3 days.

Fenugreek should not be used if you have asthma or tendency toward hypoglycemia. These are the most important issues to remember but there are other contraindications that I don't recall right now. I would research this before starting it.

In addition to fenugreek you may also consider adding other herbs. For example, the fenugreek did not work so great when I used it alone but when I added 3 caps of blessed thistle three times a day I was leaking milk. In addition, other herbs, such as fennel, assist with letdown -- that worked wonders for me. Many lactation consultants sweat by the herbal combos, the most popular being fenugreek and blessed thistle taken together.

In most people fenugreek either works wonderfully or not as great. It is tolerated by most with relatively few harmful side effects. And it is not very expensive.

I would recommend trying it for a few days and see that happens. I also recommend working with a lactation consultant or a La Leche leader to gt some guidance as you are building your supply.

For more information, I strongly recommend They have a wonderful section on herbs and breastfeeding, side effects, and what they do. I am not a paid spokesperson, I swear, lol!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

Yes it does. I had a broken leg when my son was 6 months old. I spent 3 days in the hospital after emergency surgery. I was unable to have a let down due to pain and pain meds. After the 3 days when I went home my supply was understandably different. I talked to a lactation consultant who said the proper dose is 12-14 capsules a day. Take 3 capsules 4 times daily and add another capsule to two of the times to make 14 if after 3 days 12 is not working. Within a few days I was back to normal. Also whole foods sells mother's milk tea which is good for this issue as well.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Worked for me while nursing/pumping for my last child! I bought the capsules at GNC. You do have to take a lot of them to make a difference. Once i saw an increase in output, i stopped taking them and it stayed up. I reserved using them for times my supply dipped due to stress or illness or something. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

Fenugreek with blessed thistle is the best combination - but once the frenulum is cut and her latch is normal - your supply will perk right up. Staying hydrated, rested and of course oatmeal are all good things to help too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I did try it and I felt it worked well. My OB first put me on an Rx, and of course I can't remember the name right now, it's late! But, don't take that, it was terrible and made me totally crazy! I heard after I stopped taking it that a lot of people had issues with it. This is crazy, but fenugreek will make you smell like maple syrup if you take it regularly. It was super freaky. It doesn't happen to everyone I guess, but a large population of the people who take it have this side effect! My sweat smelled like it, but I'm pretty sure it didn't change the taste of my milk. My daughter still ate it with no problems, so I think it's fine! :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Yes, definitely! If she's not able to nurse enough right now, also make sure you're pumping at least every three hours (after a feeding), including at night. It's important to establish your milk supply from the beginning to prevent low supply issues later on.

Even if she doesn't latch on, having her next to you bare chested will make your boobs make more milk. I know this because with my oldest daughter, she didn't nurse for 8 weeks. I pumped. I would regularly try nursing her, and the side I tried most on, it started making considerably more milk. I didn't think it would matter since she wasn't actually drinking anything, but it did. My boobs noticed a baby was there and worked harder to make more milk...hehe. It was a very noticeable difference in the milk I was able to pump out.

My son was tongue tied. It made a HUGE difference to have it snipped. I'd definitely suggest doing that asap. It'll help things become much smoother quickly. I'd go on and on with suggestions (like how to help baby if her suck has issues afterwards), but since you only asked about fenugreek, and since I've already rambled more than you asked for, I'll stop! :-)

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I was on fenugreek taking the recommended dose and didn't notice a difference in my production. My sister in law told me he doula told her to triple the dose, did that and it work! Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

yes. after a couple of days it felt like my breasts were as full as the day my milk came in.. I think it upset my stomach a bit. so take it slow.. just a capsule first day and see how it effects you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

I use Breastea from and I went from pumping 1/2 ounce at a time to over 5 ounces. It's worked great.


answers from Chicago on

I think it worked for me, plus mother's milk tea.



answers from Columbus on

I've never tried fenugreek itself, but am on Metformin for PCOS and read that it is similar to fenugreek. I have *crazy* awesome milk suppy... which I attribute to the Metformin because those with PCOS usually have milk supply issues because of the hormone imbalance.



answers from Dayton on

I drink Yogi's Nursing Mom tea. I drink it twice a day and LOTS of water. I've used it for three out of four children and noticed a significant difference in milk production when I drink it versus when I cut back. Good luck!



answers from Boston on

I am taking Healthy Nursing Tea by secrets of tea... It`s amazing..... I Love it;)

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